Keep Your Resolutions by Watching More TV

I love New Year’s Day. The optimism of the new year creates an exciting wave that is strong enough to carry us out of the luscious holidays and toward a more productive and newer-better-stronger way of being. Whether you make resolutions, state intentions, craft a vision board or tweet goals from the rooftops, it’s hard to avoid considering how you plan to tweak a few edits into your new year. Even if you reject the concept of resolutions, you can’t help but think about the year ahead.

I love reading various resolutions on blogs, because if there is anything I like more than watching people perform physical labor, it’s witnessing our minds at work. Humans are so industrious, so hopeful, and we work hard on breaking down patterns with our plans or willful resolutions.

Some resolutions are very personal and specific, but most fall under the expected categories of behavior mod and goal-meeting. Lots of people want to do more: knit more, read more, write more. And then there is the continuation of a baffling trend where people like Casey at Tichy Grishy, Molly at mollyhouhoo and Jen at Hey! Jen Renee resolve to watch LESS television in 2016.

LESS? Well, to each her own, but to me, that’s crazy talk. I’m planning on watching more.

Because television makes us better. “Romper Room” started me on the track to count on the guidance (do be a do bee!) of the little screen. Television has always been an app for that. TV listings are nothing if not a strong series of morality plays streaming into our homes, bedrooms and laptops like wise elders standing ready to help us realize the change and good life we desire.

In fact, I believe television could be a great help to someone who needs encouragement to keep up with her new year’s intentions. So here is a handy guide for you to use if in the coming days you find your resolve shaking and need the special type of support that only TV can offer.

Keeping Resolutions to Eat Better

Did you proclaim intentions to change your eating habits in 2010? Intend to eat differently in whatever way makes sense to you: maybe less meat, less high-fructose corn syrup, more local foods, more carefully prepared dinners instead of mindless rushing? It’s a very common resolution, but is one of the hardest, most primal patterns to break. You know who can help you stay the course? Bill from “True Blood.” Bill is a vampire, as he will often tell you and Sookie. So naturally, the fellow craves blood. But on most days he uses great will to forgo that sticky treat, subsisting on TruBlood substitute, like many other vamps who want humans to be free of the worry of being drained. They can’t eat people food or drink people drink, either. Just foul TruBlood. Willpower like that can inspire you if you feel you’re falling off of the gluten/sugar/omnivore/processed wagon.

Going for Your Goals

If your resolutions include a plan for meeting a specific goal in ’10, you want all of the encouragement you can gather to keep on task to achieve your dream. I’ll tell you who can help. Sue from “Glee.” Keep this powerhouse of a coach in your DVR to cheer you step-by-step toward the big V of Victory over your resolutions. Or simply post some of her motivating quotations around your space. I took down my “Wiggle Your Big Toe” office motivational poster (one of Kiddo’s mantras in “Kill Bill”) because it was getting a little dusty, and I’ve replaced it with this gem from Sue in episode three: “I’m going to ask you to smell your armpits. That’s the smell of failure, and it’s stinking up my office.”

I’m telling you — if you are wavering, plug in to Team Sue.

Expanding the Success of Your Small Business

Need a boost to that resolution to pour yourself into the tasks you’ve been meaning to check off to launch or expand your business? Watching Nancy Botwin GTD on “Weeds” is all the MBA coaching you need. “Weeds” is an object lesson in small business management (here’s just one simple lesson via YouTube, strong language). Nancy ratchets her growth, experiments with new business lines, manages risks and is great at delegating. If you are feeling weak or ineffective, hang out with Nancy for a few fast half-hour episodes, and you might find your business is back to growing like a weed.

Organizing and Cleaning to Streamline Your Life

This is a common resolution, and a hard one to keep up with after you find yourself shredding, scanning, filing, ditching and labeling for hours only to find out that more piles of papers spawned out of thin air while you were in the other room. It’s crazy. But “Dexter” can help. That man is clean, more organized than the Fly Lady, and lives true to his code. Sure, the code is related to being a sociopath with an illegal social justice mission, but that doesn’t mean that this show can’t help you get your house ready to welcome (noisy FBI) guests day or night.

All Other Resolutions to Live Better

For almost any other resolution, try “Mad Men.” I adore this show in part because it is the perfect morality play for our times. Those wacky mad men and women, smoking inside in front of the tiny lungs of their kids, drinking hard during the day, oblivious to safety belts, letting their children play with dry cleaner bags! Just one episode of “Mad Men” will leave you grateful for all we know now that we didn’t know then. “Mad Men” makes you better, just in comparison. Not only can their ignorance about tobacco additives help you stay away from the butts, but you’ll also be inspired to be a better parent, knock off your affairs, AND dress well for dinner. “Mad Men” is the Swiss knife of television inspiration.

These ideas won’t help those who’ve resolved to watch less TV, though maybe watching a program that will make you want to throw the actual TV set out the second-floor window could help? Might I suggest “Jersey Shore.” That should work.